71-Year Old Choreographer Douglas Dunn Presents World Premiere of AUBADE Tonight
Traditionally regarded as an abstract minimalist, 71 year old choreographer Douglas Dunn treads into unexpected territory with the world premiere of "Aubade," at the Alexander Kasser Theater, today, January 24-February 1. The dance was commissioned by Peak Performances.
Featuring pre-recorded and real-time video, lighting and costumes by Dunn's frequent collaborator, the avant-garde filmmaker Charles Atlas, poetry by Anne Waldman, and an original score by Steve Taylor, the hour-long work marks one of Dunn's most complex dances to date. Taylor and his three musicians will share the Kasser stage with Dunn's own nine-member company, which includes Dunn himself, as well as six dance students from Montclair State University, whom Dunn is incorporating into the work.
"Aubade" is traditionally a song of morning; of awakening to the day with a quiet sense of the inexorableness of death. The dance, which could be considered abstractly autobiographical, is also an homage to, and exploration of the more vivid and rich perceptions we develop as we age and begin to confront our own mortality.
The dance comments on the life of an artist, and the stages of consciousness that evolve as an artist ages. Central to the work is the role of Christopher Williams who plays a trickster- an unbridled sensualist whose imagination and animal energy is essential to the creation of art.
[dunn dancing] Though athletic all his life, Douglas Dunn's dance training began at the Princeton Ballet Society when he was studying at Princeton University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Art History in 1964. He performed with Yvonne Rainer & Group from 1968 to 1970. He was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1969 to 1973, and the Grand Union from 1970 to 1976. Dunn began making his own work in 1971. His collaborators have included Mimi Gross, Charles Atlas, Kenneth Noland, Anne Waldman, and Amy Greenfield. Douglas Dunn & Dancers has performed throughout the United States and Europe, most especially France, where Dunn created a full length "Pucinella" for the Paris Opera Ballet as part of its homage to Igor Stravinsky. His honors, fellowships, and awards include recognition from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, and Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. In 2008 Dunn was honored with a Chevalier by the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contributions to French cultural and artistic life.